When it comes to your health, preventive care plays a crucial role in monitoring your progress, decreasing the risk of illness and disease, and preparing for the future. Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) scans play a crucial preventative role for your bone health. Commonly known as bone density tests, Dexa scans are a quick, accurate, and non-invasive method of diagnosing osteoporosis and assessing fracture risk. Here's a look into how they work, their uses, and the benefits they offer.
What are Dexa Scans and How Do They Work?
Dexa scans utilize a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce images of the inside of the body (usually the lower spine and hips) to measure bone loss. It's the most commonly used test for measuring bone mineral density and is considered the gold standard for diagnosing osteoporosis.
During a Dexa scan, the patient lies on a padded table while a mechanical arm passes over their body, emitting low-dose X-rays. The machine captures images of the bones and calculates their density by analyzing the amount of X-rays absorbed by them. The entire process is painless and takes about 10 to 30 minutes.
Uses of Dexa Scans
The primary use of Dexa scans is to identify osteoporosis before a broken bone occurs. They can detect even small changes in bone density, making them useful in tracking the effects of osteoporosis treatment. Additionally, Dexa scans are used to assess an individual's risk of developing fractures.
Doctors may recommend a Dexa scan if you are:
- A postmenopausal woman not taking estrogen.
- A man aged 50 or older.
- A person with a history of fractures.
- A person with risk factors for osteoporosis.
- Taking medications that are known to cause bone loss.
However, Dexa scans can be beneficial for anyone beyond these recommended populations.
Benefits of Dexa Scans
Dexa scans can detect osteoporosis in its early stages, even before you break a bone. The sooner osteoporosis is diagnosed, the better your chances of preventing serious fractures.
Dexa scans are the most accurate method for measuring bone mineral density and predicting fracture risk. With a precise insight into your body composition, allowing you to see the distribution of bone density, lean muscle, and body fat, Dexa scans can provide the basis for a personalized nutritional plan and fitness regimen. The information from scans can help you find healthy routines to reach your goals.
Non-invasive and Painless:
Unlike some other medical procedures, Dexa scans are non-invasive and painless. You remain fully clothed during the procedure, and it doesn't require any special preparations.
If you're undergoing treatment for osteoporosis, Dexa scans can be used to monitor your progress. Regular scans can show whether the treatment is working or if adjustments are needed.
Low Radiation Exposure
The amount of radiation you're exposed to during a Dexa scan is minimal – much less than the amount emitted during a standard chest X-ray.
Utilizing Dexa Scans
Dexa scans are an invaluable tool in the fight against osteoporosis, a disease that affects millions of people worldwide, and in monitoring your bone health. Early detection can be key to successful management of disease.
At Better Faster Urgent Care, we offer monthly and quarterly Dexa scans to help you monitor your body composition and bone health. A Dxa Scan Monthly Membership can give you consistent monitoring, flexible scheduling, and discounted prices to embrace a healthier future.
To learn more about our DEXA scans, visit us online or give us a call at (817) 774-9704.